MACC man: Ex-deputy PM was paid millions

SHAH ALAM: After a 12-day break, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s corruption trial resumed today, with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer V. Mahendran taking the stand to tell of multi-million ringgit payouts to the former deputy prime minister.

The case had been postponed on July 29 after Mahendran, the prosecution’s final witness, came down with Covid-19.

Mahendran told the High Court yesterday that Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) had paid a total of S$13.56mil (RM43.84mil) to Ahmad Zahid between Oct 2014 and March 2018.

The money was paid in monthly instalments.

Mahendran said the amount given to the former deputy prime minister was between S$200,000 (RM646,616) and S$520,000 (RM1,681,203) each month.

However, he added that the amount was increased to S$300,000 (RM969,925) beginning in March 2015 upon Ahmad Zahid’s request to UKSB former directors VK Lee and Wan Quoris Shah Wan Abdul Ghani.

The company increased the amount to S$520,000 (RM1,681,203) from July 1, 2017.

Mahendran, who was reading his written statement, said Ahmad Zahid had also received RM3mil in cash on March 27 from UKSB for the 2018 general election campaign.

The political funding, he said, was one of several one-off payments.

Other one-off payments, according to Mahendran, included RM125,000 for a Hari Raya celebration in June 2014, S$1mil (RM3.2 mil) in May 2017 to celebrate Umno’s 71st anniversary, S$30,000 (RM97,000) in October 2017 for Ahmad Zahid’s wife’s birthday celebration; and S$120,000 (RM388,000) and 15,000 Swiss francs (RM70,122) in Aug 2015 and May 2016, respectively.

These one-off payments were in addition to the monthly payments amounting to S$13.56mil (RM43.84mil).

Ahmad Zahid is charged with 33 counts of receiving bribes from UKSB during his tenure as Home Minister in order to extend the company’s contract to continue operating the one-stop centre in China and the foreign visa (VLN) system.

The alleged graft was also to ensure that the company’s contract agreement for the supply of the VLN integrated system continued.

“As Home Minister at that time, Ahmad Zahid had the power and influence to formulate policies and direction of the government, especially the Home Ministry,’’ said Mahendran.

He added that any decision by Ahmad Zahid would affect UKSB’s business directly or indirectly.

Mahendran said based on the relevant witnesses’ testimonies and UKSB’s ledger, the monthly payments were handed to Ahmad Zahid at his private residence in Country Heights, Kajang or at the deputy prime minister’s official residence in Putrajaya.

The proceedings, before judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa, also heard that UKSB’s former administration manager David Tan Siong Sun had codenamed Ahmad Zahid as Monster, Mon, YB, Young Boy, “ZH” and “Z” in the ledger.

Mahendran stated that the MACC investigations were conducted in accordance with Section 16(b)(B) of the MACC Act, as it is illegal for those in positions of public trust and civil servants to accept bribes.

The hearing continues today.

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